YWCA Minneapolis Otters swim English Channel
EAST ISLES — Eight members of the YWCA Minneapolis Otters swim team completed a relay crossing of the English Channel July 30.
The Otters, aged 14–16, made the crossing to raise funds for the YWCA Swim for Change Campaign, which aims to increase swimming instruction for communities of color. A lack of access to swimming instruction contributes to drowning rates in Hennepin County that are almost twice as high for those groups when compared to whites.
The Otters set a goal of raising $60,000 to support youth swimming lessons, swim team scholarships and lifeguard training.
The team completed the 25-mile swim from Shakespeare Beach in Dover, England to Cap Griz-Nez on the coast of France in just less than 12 hours. Team members included Keelin Nave, Benito Ramirez, Grete Wilt, Betsy Robertson, Mandy Theissen, Hallee Surber, Sif Nave and Mattea Allert.
Their coach, Dave Cameron, will attempt a double-crossing of the English Channel the week of Aug. 6. If successful, Cameron will be the first Minnesotan to accomplish the feat.
A team of five adult swimmers from the YWCA also completed a relay channel crossing.